Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 Day II

So, with a lot of delay, here’s my video of day 2 of the glorious Graspop Metal Meeting 2011!
I had a great time and I would definitely recommend Graspop to everybody!
Day 2 started for us with Lacuna Coil on the main stage… which meant in the rain.
But that was not really a big deal and they were totally worth it!

After that we were especially glad to see the amazing Blaas of Glory – you can watch a little piece of “Living on a Prayer” in the video! I loved them – and their leggings!

The next couple of hours were spent eating and drinking in the food-tent and right in time for Black Label Society (eye candy 😉 ) the rain stopped – so we could enjoy them outside on the main stage without getting soaked again!

After that we once again entered marquee 1 to see Moonspell, a band which I liked a lot when I was younger.
The show was great, but my neighbor was hit in the head by a hardplastic bottle and it caused a nice huge bump on his head. People kept throwing bottles and full beer glasses (what a waste!) into the crowd, so we left before the concert was over.
Of course I am ready to get a concussion any time, just not before seeing Arch Enemy, you know?
When we came back outside, we saw on the big screen that the headliner Ozzy Osbourne had cancelled his appearance because of a laryngitis. They must have known longer than that though, because they had brought in a Belgian band whose name I forgot as a replacement. Also Judas Priest had been bumped up to the headlining slot and they had announced they would play a 120 minute set!! They are fucking heroes! :)
Arch Enemy was way awesome as always, though I was a bit annoyed by Angela’s comment:”I want to see some broken bones!”
I must reply:”I want to see your face when someone gets hurt so bad during your show that he/she is left in a wheelchair for life like it happened during a Cradle show just two or three years ago!”
Well, what ever!
After Arch Enemy, we saw Whitesnake on the main stage and I must say they are not really my taste.
Cradle of Filth however are very much my taste and so we watched their show next – it was amazing. Apparently the girl in the front row who flashed Dani agrees with me! 😉

But the highlight of the night was definitely Judas Priest – they are so awesome it’s ridiculous!
It was as if they were saying to all the other bands: “Yeah, that was nice kids, but now let us show you how it’s done!” 😀

Graspop Metal Meeting 2011 Day I

I made a short video compilation of our first day at Graspop. Like I already told you we missed a couple of songs of the EPICA set, because the road signs were very confusing. So we could only stand in the far back of Marquee 1 and watch the rest. EPICA had prepared a special pyro show for Graspop, which was very cool. Sadly they only spoke Dutch, so I have no idea what the hell they were talking about.

After that we caught a glimpse of VOLBEAT, who were playing outside on the Mainstage. Then we went into the Metal Dome to watch Duff McKagan for a while, who as you may know was the bass player in Guns N’ Roses and now has his own band, “Duff McKagan’s Loaded”, in which he also sings. I like them.

Finally I got to see Iced Earth! I’ve been waiting for a chance to do so forever. Luckily they were still fronted by Matt Barlow! Not that I don’t want to see them with Stu Block, I am hoping to do so in December. It’s just that Barlow sings on my favorite albums and it would have sucked to never have seen him live. So, now I have and it’s all good. :) Apparently a lot of people felt the same way, since there were a lot of “Barlow” choirs. Hell, it was awesome! :) I just wish this freakshow couple had not been in front of me making out the entire time. I could not use some Iced Earth footage because it was more porn than music video, lol! Get a room!

Graspop Metal Meeting

These are my first pictures from Graspop Metal Meeting. I thought I’d introduce the festival first. It takes place every last weekend of July in Dessel, Belgium, near Antwerp. It had the highest amount visitors so far in 2008 – 135.000 people, which makes it one of the biggest metal festivals in Europe. Wacken, for example, has about 80.000 visitors.
This year the headliners were The Scorpions (Friday), Ozzy Osbourne (Saturday) and Slipknot (Sunday). 75 bands played.

Here’s a map of the festival ground, which I downloaded from the German Graspop forum I only downloaded this to show you guys though, because at the festival we were actually able to use a free GMM Android app! It had the schedule and map, so I really needed nothing else!

My only criticism of the festival is that it is not so easy to find! When we left the highway, there was a sign “festival”, which is nice, but it really should say which festival it is, I mean, how am I supposed to know there’s not a Jazz festival happening in the next village or something? We followed the sign and it lead us to a construction site which blocked the road. There was an official sign, not from the festival but from the city, that redirected us, but that did not say “festival” or anything, just “deviation”. We followed this sign for a while and already got worried that we were going in the wrong direction, because there were no more “festival” signs to be seen… until we finally spied a sign that said “GMM receptie”, which means reception, so we figured this is where we had to go to exchange our e-tickets for wristbands or something. There was no other sign related to the festival, so we followed this one. We drove past the correct parking lot twice, because the next “receptie” sign was kind of ambiguous and also there was not a soul in the parking lot so we thought this can’t be it. When we got out of the car, there was once again no sign telling us where to go, so after some searching we found some stairs that lead us to a reception area. Only it turned out to be for deliveries, not for visitors. From the look on the faces of the people who worked there we could tell that we were not the first ones who came there by accident. They were very friendly though and gave us a small map and showed us on it how to get to the actual festival parking lot! This time we found it! Wohoo! There were several pastures and each of them was reserved for a certain type of ticket holder – combi or day. We got on quickly and there was no problem, except that once you were on the right pasture, there were no people there to direct you. You could chose the spot to park in all on your own and stupid as people are, that did not work in all cases: Some cars had been blocked and it was obvious that there was no chance for them to leave before some others did! Anyways, when we got out of the car and walked off the parking lot, we arrived at a crossing: 4 possible ways to go and once again no sign what so ever! While we were standing there contemplating our options a Belgian guy asked us if we knew which was the way to the festival. He then asked other people and was told where to go and we followed him. After about 20 minutes of walking we finally arrived at the festival site. Getting the wristbands and getting on the festival ground was super quick and easy, but sadly because of all the problems before EPICA had already started playing when we arrived.

Now let me tell you a little about the festival site itself, which is amazing! When you have your wristband and have been checked for bottles, weapons etc., the camping ground is on your right, the festival ground on your left – so when you want to go back and forth between the stages and your tent, you do not have to go through security again, which is very convenient. The festival ground has a huge restaurant tent, where people who camp can have all kinds of breakfast, but which also served us as a dry place to sit when we were on a break in between shows. In fact I spent several hours in that tent and there were people playing cards and stuff. There were also many many ATMs and even a wagon with actual bank employees in it. The restroom facilities were cleaned all the time and I’d say the number of them was well chosen. There were no super long lines of people waiting… at least not of people smart enough to walk to the back and not just stand in the first line they see! 😉

There was also a giant amount of different food stands. I’d like to introduce to all of you my favorite – De Lachende Poffer!!!

They sell Poffertjes, which are essentially mini pancakes (size of a 2 EUR coin) with powdered sugar. The festival site also has a saloon and all kinds of attractions like bumper cars and a soapy slide. There’s a “festival fair” where you can buy merchandize, jewellery and things like that. The ground is very sandy, which is awesome! I’ve seen pictures of Germany’s Southside festival were people were standing in mud up to the middle of their shins, but in Dessel that’s not a problem. I wore my rubber boots in vain!

As of the stages, there’s 4. There’s the main stage, which is the only open air one. This is it:

The other ones are tents, so called “marquees”. Two big ones and the smaller metal dome.

That’s it for now, next time I’ll post some pics and videos of the shows I’ve seen!